The company Blurity! found an interesting solution to the some of the Internet Piracy problems. Blurity! is computer software used to clean up pictures and take away the blur on images. Blurity! creator, Jeff Keacher, discussed how he approached the issue in his blog.
His idea is to offer the potential software pirate with a percentage off of the software. He stated that is better to get some money from the user instead of nothing. Below is is a section from his blogpost. Check the Blurity! Blog out for the full article.
So, as I often do in these situations, I asked my friend Tyler for advice. Not only did he figure out the origin of the numbers almost immediately, he proposed an idea: show something to whoever tries one of those numbers. Make them squirm. Make them know I’m on to them.
I thought that was a great idea! I added a few lines of code, and whenever either of those numbers were entered, the
user would see this dialog:
Redacted for obvious reasons.
That’s right: Not only would I call them out on their attempted piracy, I’d reward it. I figured it would be better to get some money from them, if possible, rather than no money at all.
Nobody tried the numbers again for a while, and I gradually forgot about the dialog box.
Until today. And it worked better than I could have hoped.
An automated alert popped up in my inbox notifying me that somebody was trying an invalid registration key. I noticed the number, figured that they’d be seeing the “easter egg” dialog box, smiled, and went back to what I had been doing.
Then, a couple minutes later, another new message popped up in my inbox: a purchase!
I checked the server logs, and indeed, it was the same person who had tried the special invalid registration keys.
Not only had the person made a purchase, they did so at the full price!
Had the pirate been shamed into becoming a customer? Had they been too embarrassed to use the “I’m a thief” coupon code? I’m not sure, but I’m happy I got paid.